Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1 (Ongoing)
I didn’t care much for the Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor miniseries, complaining about its over-reliance on photo reference, slow pacing, and non-distinct character voices. I’m thrilled to say that, now that the series is an ongoing, the comic is much more enjoyable to read, with all those problems gone.
It’s still written by Cavan Scott, but new artist Adriana Melo (Ms. Marvel) gives the art much more motion, action, and expression. The Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack are still clearly “played” by Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, and John Barrowman, but their faces aren’t focused too much on likeness to move. I also liked the enthusiasm demonstrated by her alien characters.
Those aliens are a major part of the story, and the plot tickled me (and explains the photo cover shown below). It’s the first of a three-parter in which the Doctor has become a mass media sensation. It begins when a transmission is intercepted by a younger Captain Jack that he doesn’t remember making. Apparently, Jack’s memory was wiped at some point in the past. (Is this some Torchwood continuity? I don’t remember this, but I’m willing to go with it.) They wind up on a planet where the Doctor has a TV show and a book and social media presence and huge numbers of fans.
There’s a certain amount of “aren’t young fans silly, talking their slang?” — at one point, Rose says, “shouldn’t the TARDIS be translating this?” in response to a comment about “that holo-pic… gave me all the feels” — but for me, it stayed on the right side of humorous. I love fan enthusiasm, particularly when contrasted with this particular Doctor’s tendency to grumpiness. And long-time fans will likely appreciate the historical references thrown in, although they’re no obstacle to new readers. Comic fans will also find a silly yet touching reference as well.
I’m interested in finding out just where this goes from here, because I had a fun ride and want more. In addition to the six variant covers, there are three store-specific variants, shown below. Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1 will be in comic stores on April 13. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)